Join or Sign In

Sign in to customize your TV listings

Continue with Facebook Continue with email

By joining TV Guide, you agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy.

Minnesota Timberwolves Coach Flip Saunders Dies at 60

He had battled Hodgkin lymphoma

Liz Raftery

Longtime NBA coach Flip Saunders died Sunday at age 60 after a battle with Hodgkin lymphoma.

Saunders had coached in the NBA for 35 years, most recently with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Back in August, Saunders announced that he had been diagnosed with "very treatable and curable" Hodgkin lymphoma, but planned to continue as the Timberwolves' coach. However, he suffered a setback in September, and the organization announced last week that he would miss the 2015-16 season, which begins on Wednesday.

The Timberwolves announced Saunders' death via social media Sunday.

Born Philip Daniel Saunders in Cleveland, he went on to play college basketball and began his coaching career in 1977 at Golden Valley Lutheran College in St. Paul, Minn.

Remember other celebrities we've lost this year

In 1996, he moved to the NBA as the head coach of the Timberwolves. He subsequently coached the Detroit Pistons and Washington Wizards, before returning to the Timberwolves in 2013 as president and part-owner, and then coach in 2014.

"The NBA family is mourning today over the tragic loss of our friend and colleague, Flip Saunders," NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement, according to ESPN. "Flip's untimely passing has left a gaping hole in the fabric of our league. Flip was a beloved figure around the NBA, nowhere more so than in Minnesota."

Saunders is survived by his wife, Debbie, and four children.